Last Sunday, I found myself driving to San Francisco in the early morning and in deep fog. I was heading to a pub that shows live English soccer, and was running late. I had my headlights turned on and I was concentrating quite hard on the other traffic. I pride myself on being a good driver, especially in adverse weather conditions, and I do this by really concentrating (and also heading to the outside/fast lane as quickly as possible, where there are less crazies, and the road surface is better!).
However, when I did take the time to take stock and look around, everything looked just that little bit different; to the extent that, for a split second, I didn’t know where I was, and I wondered if I was on the correct road or not!
Only those things (houses, trees, shops, gas stations, etc) nearest the freeway were visible. I saw houses I had never seen before, strip malls stood out, and intersections just looked different to how I remembered them. The fog had obliterated the middle and distant view from the freeway, and it got me thinking about some of the benefits of being caught in the “fog” in either our personal or professional lives.
Even if my working situation suddenly gets rather “foggy”, I can still look around and evaluate the environment, the ecosystem, with a new perspective and with new insight. The fog can remove the familiar routines, patterns, and chatter, and highlight things of value or things that have been hitherto hidden from view. Maybe I see a colleague in a new way, or a new solution to an existing problem may suddenly present itself to me. Maybe I discover a new part of the office, or maybe I find a nice outside area, because I used a different exit door that I hadn’t noticed before.
In my personal life, maybe I discover something new that I enjoy doing because the “fog” in my immediate surroundings became too much. For me, that has been picking up the guitar. This began as I was seeking out some peace and quiet in another room from the noisy “fog” in the living room. When I changed rooms, I saw my guitar case leaning against the wall. It had been there for months, but I hadn’t noticed it for ages. It had just become too familiar to see anymore, and it was only due to some domestic “fog” that I actually saw it again; saw it in a new light.
I am now happily strumming away on the A, E, C, G, and F chords, and I really don’t think I would be if it hadn’t been for the “fog” inside my house!